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Old 06-06-2015, 10:47 PM   #1
J0812
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Pixelation/Stuttering/Audio Drops on New Tivo Roamio Plus

So, I just recently joined the TiVo family after contemplating dumping my Time Warner Cable box for the last several months. I purchased a new TiVo Roamio Plus with Lifetime Service and got it all set up last Sunday.

The setup was mostly painless with the TWC dedicated line, and almost everything has been working smoothly.

I'm getting pixelation/stutters/audio drops very regularly on every channel. I currently have it on UFC Fight Night on Fox Sports 1 and the issue is popping up at least once every minute. Usually it's just a quick hiccup, though sometimes it happens several times for as long as 10-20 seconds.

I'd be happy to provide readings and info from my menus should anyone need it for clarification. I'm unsure which would be helpful. The only one that immediately stands out to me is signal strength, which consistently hovers between 97%-100%. The SNR reads between 36 db - 44 db.


This occurs on both live TV and recordings and does not appear to be channel specific. I've cycled through all 6 of my tuners and they're all exhibiting the same issue.

Any help would be very much appreciated.


Last edited by J0812; 06-06-2015 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:20 AM   #2
telemark
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If you replay the video defect, does it play back in the exact same way?

There should be a screen, I think DVR diagnostics that show RS error corrected and RS error uncorrected.


Last edited by telemark; 06-07-2015 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 06-07-2015, 03:09 PM   #3
JoeKustra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J0812 View Post
I'd be happy to provide readings and info from my menus should anyone need it for clarification. I'm unsure which would be helpful. The only one that immediately stands out to me is signal strength, which consistently hovers between 97%-100%. The SNR reads between 36 db - 44 db.

Any help would be very much appreciated.
Support from TiVo is going to say that your signal is too strong. The tuners in the Roamio line are very good, perhaps too good. If you can attenuate the signal to drop the level to about 90 and SNR to 36 you may fix the problem. If the signal goes past "100", there can be problems. But the diags don't measure that. If you can add a splitter or two in line with the cable you might see a difference.

Yes, the RS Corrected and Uncorrected error counters should be zero or close to it.

Editing: Just thought of two things. First is easy (maybe). If TWC can measure your signal they may find it's too strong. Second is not so easy. If this dedicated coax line is connected to your TV, and the TV is digital, and you can manually tune it to a digital channel, the measurement of signal and SNL would be helpful. It can be complicated but it can be done. Most TV sets can scan even if nothing valid is found. Then the channel list can be examined for a valid number and manually tuned using the remote. If you should decide to try that I can help. It sounds confusing (and it is), so you can skip it and I won't feel bad. That method works with a TiVo (if it doesn't have a cable card).


Last edited by JoeKustra; 06-07-2015 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:40 PM   #4
J0812
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I was out most the day, so I didn't get to take any readings, but here's a couple stats I pulled from a couple tuners just now:

Channel 8 (ABC affiliate)
97%
38dB
RS Uncorrected: 7585
RS Corrected: 5643

Channel 52 (Disney)
96%
39dB
RS Uncorrected: 35165
RS Corrected: 17155

Mlmemts after typing this, the tuner above dropped to 312/150 in RS errors. The worst part is, I've seen it go higher.

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Old 06-08-2015, 12:02 AM   #5
telemark
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That is indeed odd.

I'm not a big believer in Tivo's the signal is too high explanations, but this would be a case it's applicable if any. Won't hurt to try at least, just some time.

Other explanations, I can conjure up.
Noise on the line - Powerlines, industrial equipment, bad earth ground on either side.
Bad CableCard - not decrypting properly introducing bit errors.

Is this a house or an apartment?
Adding another box, be it a TV tuner, meter, cablebox, or Tivo, might help in the testing.

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Old 06-08-2015, 11:42 AM   #6
J0812
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telemark, I apologize, I forgot to answer your previous question. The issue occurs during playback, yes. If I rewind a few seconds back, it occurs in the same spot that it did originally in the same fashion.

As for additional info,

It's a house. Underground cables lines from the road to the property, only about eleven years old.

The room where the TiVo is installed previously had a TWC Motorola DCX3400 DVR, and, save for the occasional stutter/freeze/etc every few weeks for a second or two, never had any issues. The Tivo replaced it just last week.

There are two dedicated cable lines in this particular room. One serves the Tivo, the other serves the Internet. No splitters involved (at least inside the house.)

There are 3 TWC cable boxes still in the house - one DVR, two HD boxes. One of them gets frequent freezes/stutters/jitters on local channels only, and only around dinner time (how odd?) The others never have issues worth noting.

JoeKustra mentioned the idea of simply adding a splitter just to give it a shot, that certainly seems like an easy go-to first before I start looking into more complicated solutions.


Last edited by J0812; 06-08-2015 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:16 PM   #7
telemark
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In my first setup of Wifi at work, my laptop would go offline consistently at lunch time. Figured out it was the microwave in the conference room.

In other words, it's not crazy and might be a relevant symptom down the road.

PS. the simplest test, is to move the Tivo to use the other cable lines.
Sounds like have 3 lines to compare.


Last edited by telemark; 06-08-2015 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:00 PM   #8
JoeKustra
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Originally Posted by J0812 View Post
telemark, I apologize, I forgot to answer your previous question. The issue occurs during playback, yes. If I rewind a few seconds back, it occurs in the same spot that it did originally in the same fashion.

As for additional info,

It's a house. Underground cables lines from the road to the property, only about eleven years old.

The room where the TiVo is installed previously had a TWC Motorola DCX3400 DVR, and, save for the occasional stutter/freeze/etc every few weeks for a second or two, never had any issues. The Tivo replaced it just last week.

There are two dedicated cable lines in this particular room. One serves the Tivo, the other serves the Internet. No splitters involved (at least inside the house.)

There are 3 TWC cable boxes still in the house - one DVR, two HD boxes. One of them gets frequent freezes/stutters/jitters on local channels only, and only around dinner time (how odd?) The others never have issues worth noting.

JoeKustra mentioned the idea of simply adding a splitter just to give it a shot, that certainly seems like an easy go-to first before I start looking into more complicated solutions.
It's common to use one cable line from the street feed. That splits into two lines with one feeding the cable modem and one feeding another splitter that feeds all the other devices. Usually that's enough to reduce a strong signal. Perhaps your cable modem can be accessed and maybe it has a screen to show the signal levels. What make/model is your modem?

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Old 06-08-2015, 02:34 PM   #9
J0812
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Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post
It's common to use one cable line from the street feed. That splits into two lines with one feeding the cable modem and one feeding another splitter that feeds all the other devices. Usually that's enough to reduce a strong signal. Perhaps your cable modem can be accessed and maybe it has a screen to show the signal levels. What make/model is your modem?
Modem is a Motorola Surfboard 6141. I own it, it's not a TWC rental, if that makes a difference.

There's also a dedicated phone modem in the garage. If the setup is as you've indicated above, I'm not sure if it runs off of the Internet split or the TV split, though I'd imagine the former is more likely?

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Old 06-08-2015, 03:04 PM   #10
JoeKustra
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Originally Posted by J0812 View Post
Modem is a Motorola Surfboard 6141. I own it, it's not a TWC rental, if that makes a difference.

There's also a dedicated phone modem in the garage. If the setup is as you've indicated above, I'm not sure if it runs off of the Internet split or the TV split, though I'd imagine the former is more likely?
That's great. If you enter 192.168.100.1 into your browser it should take you to a status screen. The numbers can vary, but something like 0-2 dBmV and 40dB SNR is good. That would be a second opinion of your signal. One of the screens may be a log, which should not be full of errors. The modem's uptime may also be found. I have a SB6183 so I can't be 100% sure what you are viewing.

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Old 06-08-2015, 03:14 PM   #11
telemark
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I find modem numbers somewhat useful, but to be clear if it's a separate cable run, you'll have to move the equipment around too to get a complete picture.

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Old 06-08-2015, 04:01 PM   #12
JoeKustra
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I find modem numbers somewhat useful, but to be clear if it's a separate cable run, you'll have to move the equipment around too to get a complete picture.
Very true. I once swapped my cable modem line with my TV line to test. Results were as expected. I can get into my box since I bought one of those tools.

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Old 06-08-2015, 04:33 PM   #13
J0812
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Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post
That's great. If you enter 192.168.100.1 into your browser it should take you to a status screen. The numbers can vary, but something like 0-2 dBmV and 40dB SNR is good. That would be a second opinion of your signal. One of the screens may be a log, which should not be full of errors. The modem's uptime may also be found. I have a SB6183 so I can't be 100% sure what you are viewing.
Here's what I've just pulled from the modem:

Six of the eight downstream channels are showing 37dB SNR, the remaining two (4 & 7) are showing 38dB.

All eight have a dBmV of 4.

Upstream channel is showing 47dBmV.

System uptime is 8 days, 8 hours.

On the log page, there are 20 fields, ranging from error, to notice, to critical. They date back to May 24th. Many are "DHCP Renew Warning" or "no ranging response received."

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Old 06-08-2015, 04:54 PM   #14
JoeKustra
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Originally Posted by J0812 View Post
Here's what I've just pulled from the modem:

Six of the eight downstream channels are showing 37dB SNR, the remaining two (4 & 7) are showing 38dB.

All eight have a dBmV of 4.

Upstream channel is showing 47dBmV.

System uptime is 8 days, 8 hours.

On the log page, there are 20 fields, ranging from error, to notice, to critical. They date back to May 24th. Many are "DHCP Renew Warning" or "no ranging response received."
A signal of 4 is high, but not dangerous. I'm leaning to your signal being too strong. Time for some attenuation on the Roamio. You can buy a single attenuator on eBay which would be the easy way. Something like: http://www.a1components.com/BVModule...FYwYHwodwJEAZQ

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Old 06-08-2015, 06:15 PM   #15
J0812
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A signal of 4 is high, but not dangerous. I'm leaning to your signal being too strong. Time for some attenuation on the Roamio. You can buy a single attenuator on eBay which would be the easy way. Something like: http://www.a1components.com/BVModule...FYwYHwodwJEAZQ
I noticed you linked to a 10dB attenuator, and the product description notates a few types. I'm assuming the 10dB is the way to go?

Would it be at all beneficial to get one for the cable modem as well? Or simply leave it alone since I've had no issues to speak of on that front?

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Old 06-08-2015, 06:23 PM   #16
telemark
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I would test the Tivo on the other cable lines before spending money.
They're likely weaker since they're already on splitters.

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Old 06-08-2015, 06:27 PM   #17
JoeKustra
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Originally Posted by J0812 View Post
I noticed you linked to a 10dB attenuator, and the product description notates a few types. I'm assuming the 10dB is the way to go?

Would it be at all beneficial to get one for the cable modem as well? Or simply leave it alone since I've had no issues to speak of on that front?
Your modem (and probably your TV) are better with strong signals. Remember, we still haven't proven it's a signal strength issue. But getting that signal down to about 90 would eliminate that possibility. If it's easier to just use splitters then do that. 10dB is just a nice round number. Every 3dB cuts the signal in half. It's a logarithmic thing, like earthquakes.

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Old 06-08-2015, 08:56 PM   #18
J0812
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At what point(s) would you recommend installing a splitter? I assume it doesn't do me any good to simply add one into the chain without a need for one to go anywhere. So, would you suggest running the Tivo and modem off of the same line with a splitter just to test?

Forgive me ignorance on the subject. While I consider myself relatively well-versed in most home theater setup/troubleshooting, my knowledge of cable line maintenance and troubleshooting is admittedly limited.

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Old 06-09-2015, 03:02 AM   #19
telemark
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If you have a splitter already, go ahead and try it inside the house. The drop is about 4dB, should be labeled on it.

You could try it between the Tivo and the TV or Tivo and CableModem.

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Old 06-09-2015, 06:12 AM   #20
JoeKustra
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At what point(s) would you recommend installing a splitter? I assume it doesn't do me any good to simply add one into the chain without a need for one to go anywhere. So, would you suggest running the Tivo and modem off of the same line with a splitter just to test?

Forgive me ignorance on the subject. While I consider myself relatively well-versed in most home theater setup/troubleshooting, my knowledge of cable line maintenance and troubleshooting is admittedly limited.
You only seem to have an issue with the TiVo. So pull the coax from the Roamio, connect it to the splitter input. Use a short piece of coax (any length) to connect the splitter to the Roamio. Check the picture. Check the signal levels and errors. You may generate errors if you play with the coax while the TiVo is running. You can clear the error count by switching that tuner to a different channel. If you pull power, all the channels will be the same and all the error counters will reset. Keep it simple.

If there is an improvement, we can decide on a more permanent solution. Until it's established that the signal level is the problem, we are only guessing at a solution. It's just as likely that your cable feed is bad.

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Old 06-09-2015, 01:15 PM   #21
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... The tuners in the Roamio line are very good, perhaps too good. ....
When I replaced a Series3/HD with a Roamio Pro, I had all manner of pixelation, blocking and blanked screens on the Roamio Pro. One channel I could not receive at all. I had no such problems on the Series3/HD. Both were hooked up to the same cable outlet and were used within minutes of each other, so I don't think there are any other variables.

Eventually, Comcast had to come out and replace the drop from the telephone pole to my house, squirrels had chewed it. Once the drop was replaced, the Roamio Pro worked fine.

But the Series3/HD was able to pull an excellent picture out of a signal that the Roamio Pro balked at.

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Old 06-18-2015, 01:50 PM   #22
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I just wanted to give a brief update regarding this issue, since a few of you were so helpful in trying to diagnose it.

After settling on the splitter idea and coming home from work to try it out, I went a full two days without a single hiccup. Rather than tamper with it by installing the splitter, I figured I'd be better to just leave well enough alone until it popped up again.

A couple of days later, I had some issues - not as severe as before, but still there. Coincidentally, I had to put in a service call to Time Warner that evening, unrelated to the Tivo. It ended up requiring that they send a tech out.

While he was there, I asked him if he minded taking a look at the levels and whatnot. He was somewhat familiar with the Roamio, though not entirely. He told me the signal levels look great, but was concerned with the RS Corrected/Uncorrected numbers.

He did some tinkering in the garage and outfitted both those and the ones attached to the Tivo/wall with some new coaxials. So far, so good! I'm still seeing some RS numbers now and again, but thus far, no jumps or skips or anything of the sort since he left on Saturday.

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Old 07-01-2015, 12:01 PM   #23
tahoerider99
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Im having a similar issue. Sometimes when turning on the TV or watching a recorded TV show the sound wont work. We have been able to get the sound to work by hitting "Live TV" or having it switch channels. And sometimes it just comes back on changing channels. Also sometimes we have seen some pixelation recently. I did notice some comcast technicians recently on our box outside our home which makes me think it might be a signal issue. Any ideas? I was going to try adding a splitter to the tivo and see if that might help.

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